Autumn Feast - Charlie Richards
Charlie Richards, Catherine Lievens, Lynn Michaels, Liza Kay, Deja Black, Suede Delray
Capturing Autumn’s Airy Breeze
A Wolves of Stone Ridge Short Story
When an air dragon finishes his penance to the king, he can finally track down his mate... but he discovers he’s not the only one looking for him.
Agnoroth knew Kristof Merrill was his mate the second he scented him. Letting him go after holding him in his arms, even for a brief second, had been beyond difficult. Staying away from him for almost eight months to complete his penance to the king was damn near torture. Now Agnoroth is free to find and woo Kristof. His human is understandably wary, considering the first time they’d met Agnoroth had helped kidnap Kristof’s friend. Even with the mate-pull on his side, Kristof resists. Can Agnoroth make up for his lapse in judgment and earn his mate’s trust?
Reader Advisory: This story follows events that happened in Melting his Fiery Heart, part of the Winter Magic anthology.
I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.
Agnoroth knew he’d fucked up.
The story of my life.
The Fates had been laughing at him that day over eight months before. Agnoroth had met his mate—Kristof—the other half of his soul, while helping the fire dragon, Perentian, kidnap the man’s friend. The friend—Riley—had been mated to another dragon named Dagskon. Perentian had claimed Dagskon had stolen a valuable gem from him. The plan had been to use Riley as a bargaining chip to get the gem back.
The plan hadn’t worked, naturally.
Along the way, Agnoroth had run into his half-brother, Kazeem, who was also mated with one of Kristof’s best friends. A human named Stefan. Kazeem had explained the truth of the matter—that Perentian had stolen the gem from the dragon king, and Dagskon had returned it to the king. Once he’d known the truth, Agnoroth had released Riley, but the damage was done.
Kidnapping a mate was a very serious crime.
Agnoroth had been fortunate. Since Kazeem had stood up for him, speaking on his behalf to the king, Agnoroth had been given a reduced sentence. For helping Perentian—even though it’d been under false pretenses and duress—Agnoroth had still served six months in the king’s service as a gardener.
He knew Perentian had been put to death, but kidnapping a mate hadn’t been his only crime. Fortunately, before the sentence had been carried out, Perentian had revealed where he’d hidden the crystal orb he’d stolen from him. That had been the main reason Agnoroth had agreed to help the dragon. He’d wanted his gem back, so he’d been sympathetic to the fire dragon’s desire.
Being an air dragon, Agnoroth hadn’t minded the work. He’d used his magick to blow the leaves into piles instead of actually raking. His abilities also made it easy for him to throw gusts of wind at trees to knock off ripe fruit, then guide them into his basket.
While the chores were menial, Agnoroth had found he’d enjoyed them, making his six-month sentence fly by.
Agnoroth stared at the apartment building. “And now I’m here,” he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck. He hadn’t revealed who Kristof was to him to anyone. “Time to see if he’ll even talk to me.”
Tipping his head back, Agnoroth enjoyed the cool autumn breeze caressing his cheeks. He thought about that moment when he’d had Kristof in his arms. Grabbing his mate to stop him from interfering with Perentian had been spine-tingling. The feel of the human’s body, even through the thick winter clothes, had caused his dick to swell. A second later, realizing who Kristof was to him and how their first interaction was about to go, Agnoroth had damn near felt his heart break.
So much for making a good first impression, but I’ll make him understand.
For the last several weeks, Agnoroth had been watching Kristof’s movements. He knew his mate worked as a mechanic and used a motorcycle to commute. The sight of Kristof on his older model Indian always caused Agnoroth’s blood to heat and his dick to thicken.
Watching from the park bench across the street from the apartments, Agnoroth waited. He glanced at his watch and saw the time was twenty after six. Anticipation began to surge through him.
If Kristof kept with his pattern, he would be home within the next few minutes.
Agnoroth hummed as the sound of Kristof’s Indian reached his ears. Peering down the road, he watched as his mate appeared. The man’s faded jeans molded to his